Monday 15 April 2019

Waiting game: Buying Avengers Endgame tickets made me question the meaning of life

There comes a time for everyone when you question the point of it all.

Why are you doing this? Is this what life is about?

For me, that happened last Wednesday morning as I stared at the queue number on my computer screen, waiting to buy tickets for Avengers: Endgame on the Shaw Theatres website.

The screen said: “Your estimated wait time is: more than one hour.”

Nothing to be done.

I wanted Imax 3D tickets, which you can get only at Shaw, but like the Avengers in Infinity War, it looked like I was going to fail.

Deciding that it’s better to have non-Imax 3D tickets than no tickets at all, I tried the other cinema chains.

But I couldn’t get into the Cathay Cineplexes website because Thanos had apparently snapped its servers to oblivion too.

After a few attempts, I was relieved to be able to get good seats on the Golden Village website – until I tried to pay. My credit card payment couldn’t be processed.

GV raised my hopes only to turn them to dust like the Mad Titan. At least on the Cathay website, the death was instant. This was crueler.

It’s too much for one man.

On the other hand, what’s the good of losing heart now, that’s what I say.

As a last resort, I tried the website of We Cinemas, (a misnomer since it has just one cinema in Clementi albeit with multiple halls) and managed to book two opening-day tickets.

The seats are terrible though – three rows from the front and to the side. My neck is going to hurt after the three-hour movie.

At least whatever happens, I will be watching Avengers: Endgame on opening day, just maybe not in Imax 3D.

People ask, why must you watch the movie on the first day?

Some fans say it’s to avoid spoilers because if you see the movie before other people do, other people can’t spoil it for you and as we all know, hell is other people.

But honestly, it’s because I just can’t wait.

Like the hardy souls in the queue for A&W at Jewel Changi Airport, I would rather wait in line for hours than wait for the hype to inevitably fade when there will be no more queues.

Remember the long lines for Wendy’s in 2009 when it too returned to Singapore after a long absence like A&W?

Well, the queues for Wendy’s are gone – and so is Wendy’s. And it wasn’t even Thanos’ fault.

And even though I already got my We Cinemas tickets, ultimately, the endgame was still Imax 3D.

I could just sell my extra tickets on Carousell and maybe even make a profit.

Like the Avengers, I wasn’t giving up – yet.

But as I sat there counting down the minutes in the online queue for the Shaw website, I felt like I was watching my life tick away as well.

I wondered if it was really worth it.

Why was I doing this? Was this what life is about?

In an instant, all will vanish and we'll be alone once more in the midst of nothingness.

After three hours, the screen said: “Your estimated wait time is: less than one minute.”


More than one minute later, it said the same thing.

Fake news!

In the time it took for me to get the tickets, I could’ve watched the whole goddamned movie.

Minutes later, I was re-directed to the Avengers: Endgame ticketing page.

My patience had been rewarded! I rejoiced.


Nothing happens.

I couldn’t click on anything.

At least the Cathay website didn’t string you along for “more than an hour” before hanging. It disappointed you right away.

Shaw made sure you suffered first.

Astronomers were taking pictures of me because I was in a black hole where time had no meaning.

Like the search party for the runaway bull in Lim Chu Kang, I finally gave up.

And thus ended one of the most existentially stressful mornings of my life and I’ve flown on Scoot before.

I later bought 3D tickets from GV and this time, the payment went through. No Imax but close enough.

Anybody want two tickets to watch Avengers: Endgame at 11.05am on April 24 in Clementi?

Is $500 too much to ask?

Great seats.

- Published in The New Paper, 15 April 2019